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Scope 3 Emissions

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standard classifies a company's GHG emissions into three 'scopes':

  • Scope 1 emissions: direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.
  • Scope 2 emissions: indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.
  • Scope 3 emissions: all indirect emissions (not included in Scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

As Scope 3 emissions usually account for more than 70 per cent of a business’s carbon footprint, it is crucial that companies tackle Scope 3 emissions to meet stakeholder expectations for meaningful climate action.

There are numerous benefits associated with measuring and reducing Scope 3 emissions. By measuring Scope 3 emissions, organisations can:

  • assess where the emission hotspots are in their value chain;
  • identify resource and energy risks in their supply chain;
  • identify which suppliers are leaders and which are laggards in terms of their sustainability performance;
  • identify energy efficiency and cost reduction opportunities in their value chain;
  • engage suppliers and assist them to implement sustainability initiatives;
  • improve the energy efficiency of their products; and
  • positively engage with employees to reduce emissions from business travel and employee commuting.

As companies are now recognising the importance of addressing their scope 3 emissions, further use of appropriate tools and frameworks for measurement and reduction must be scaled up to reach true net zero by 2050.

Collecting Scope 3 Data Webinar Series 2024

For many businesses, measuring, reducing, and reporting on the organisation’s Scope 3 emissions is the most challenging aspect of achieving a science-based net zero target. Collecting robust and accurate data can be difficult, yet it is a critical process to understand the company’s true impact on the climate, present trustworthy information to customers, investors, and suppliers, and back-up net zero claims and targets.

The UN Global Compact Network UK is hosting a four-part webinar series to support businesses to efficiently collect Scope 3 emissions data from across their value chain. This series will explore how companies can collect Scope 3 data using a variety of tools, surveys, and software and will feature case studies and insight from businesses on good practice in this area.

Collecting Scope 3 Data: Supplier Engagement

1 February, 10:00-11:30 GMT

This first webinar in the series will focus on how to set the foundation for meaningful stakeholder engagement in the value chain to collect accurate data. This will include how to introduce questionnaires and approach difficult conversations with suppliers and service providers. It will establish a baseline for the initial steps companies can take to design internal policies and programmes that support sustainable procurement.

Collecting Scope 3 Data: Upstream Emissions

8 February, 10:00-11:30 GMT

This session will focus on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of data collection, and explore methodologies for collecting primary data associated with upstream emissions categories like purchased goods & services, capital goods, transportation & distribution, leased assets, and waste.

Collecting Scope 3 Data: Downstream Emissions

15 February, 10:00-11:30 GMT

This session will highlight methodologies for collecting primary data associated with downstream emissions categories like processing, use, and treatment of sold products, transportation & distribution, leased assets, and investments.

Collecting Scope 3 Data: Employee Engagement

22 February, 10:00-11:30 GMT

The final session will highlight the importance of employees in the data collection process, particularly with regards to business travel and employee commuting and homeworking. Companies will discuss tools they use to gather and track this information and other solutions for employee engagement in these areas.

Past webinars: Reducing Scope 3 Emissions - 2022

In 2022, the UN Global Compact Network UK hosted a series of nine webinars exploring how companies can tackle each category of Scope 3 emissions as defined by the GHG Protocol. Participants heard from climate specialists and business leaders as they shared best practices for identifying, measuring, and reducing their Scope 3 emissions.

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